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Lake Tahoe or Yosemite in 2 weeks?

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PA
posts: 117
reviews: 4
Lake Tahoe or Yosemite in 2 weeks?

Which one would be a nicer destination? We are looking for a beautiful location, to relax, hike, enjoy the peace of nature. I heard the weather can be very unpredictable during this time. I have no experience in this area since I'm from east coast - is this a good time to visit this area or are there better areas in california for this purpose? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Roseville...
posts: 1,102
reviews: 15
1. Re: Lake Tahoe or Yosemite in 2 weeks?

Do you mean you are coming in two weeks? Around November 14, 2012?

If so, yes, the weather will be unpredictable with snow very likely.

Anywhere in Cali you are likely to encounter some rain. I'd plan a trip around the south Cali coast, say Monterey and Santa Barbara. Or north coast such as Mendocino plus Napa Valley.

Napa, CA
Destination Expert
for Napa
posts: 5,183
reviews: 22
2. Re: Lake Tahoe or Yosemite in 2 weeks?

Yosemite Valley can be very beautiful in mid-November. The fall colors are especially beautiful. The elevation there is 4000 feet whereas Tahoe is 6100 feet. It's the off-season at Tahoe and if there's snow on the ground, hiking will be difficult.

And, yes, the coastal areas can be very nice at that time of year if the storms are late. Also, consider Death Valley or some of the other desert areas. November is a great time of year in those regions.

Santa Barbara...
posts: 1,730
reviews: 1
3. Re: Lake Tahoe or Yosemite in 2 weeks?

You might be too late for lodging within Yosemite if you don't already have reservations. Lake Tahoe will have more opportunities for last minute lodging arrangements. Tahoe will have the most variety. Yosemite is awesome, but perhaps best visited when the waterfalls are flowing. Are there better areas? Big Sur is on par.

Is this a good time to visit the Sierras? It's not the best time - November does seem to be when the seasons switch, but your plans already seem impromptu and being from the east, the weather here has got to be better than there. I checked today's 10 day forecast for Tahoe. Only one day at 60% rain, the rest were sunny or cloudy, with hi temps hovering around 60F. Calif storms are mostly short-lived, but that doesn't help if a storm occurs while you are here. Check the Tioga Rd closures for when the snows are bad enough to affect a trip to the Sierras. Check the 10 day forecast in a week and you'll get a better picture of the weather.

Edited: 10:27 pm, October 30, 2012
PA
posts: 117
reviews: 4
4. Re: Lake Tahoe or Yosemite in 2 weeks?

Thanks everyone for the replies! When you say its not the best time to visit does that kind of mean its not worth the visit?? I'd really like to see yosemite but I'm scared about crazy weather and also about it not being a good time to see it. If the issue is that the waterfalls aren't at their peak and that there is a better time to see them, I'm ok with that. But if the weather can get stormy and prohibit safe hiking, i'd rather not take that risk. I don't know...decisions decisions:)

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
posts: 15,233
reviews: 3
5. Re: Lake Tahoe or Yosemite in 2 weeks?

I've been to both place during Thanksgiving week. For Yosemite, we had reservations way in advance. Lake Tahoe will have more options, and it will be easy to get to. Fly into Reno and it's 45 minutes over to Incline Village, NV.

People make day trips to Yosemite from Tahoe if the weather holds, you could decide later if that is a possibility.

Fortaleza, CE
posts: 7,465
reviews: 360
6. Re: Lake Tahoe or Yosemite in 2 weeks?

As suggested, first check lodging in Yosemite. It may be a moot point. Then worry about which place to choose. I'd personally choose Yosemite, for its sheer beauty (and less commercial development), but either place is beautiful.

PA
posts: 117
reviews: 4
7. Re: Lake Tahoe or Yosemite in 2 weeks?

If we decide to go to yosemite, we have no problem staying outside of yosemite and driving in. Any suggestions about any cities that would be good to stay in and commute from?

California
posts: 10,878
reviews: 12
8. Re: Lake Tahoe or Yosemite in 2 weeks?

I see lodging at all valley locations for November 14th which is the 2 weeks from your original post date. Have you checked www.yosemitepark.com to see what's available? Why commute in if you can stay in the valley? You can easily jump on the free shuttles to get around instead of driving to and from each day.

Santa Barbara...
posts: 1,730
reviews: 1
9. Re: Lake Tahoe or Yosemite in 2 weeks?

I checked the website suzie referenced. Apparently there is availability at the Ahwahnee, Wawona, and Tenaya - all are fine hotels. I've stayed at the Wawona and found it to be a charming historic hotel, although the drive into the valley takes almost an hour.

Consider that low clouds will obscure the views. Snow is fun and it keeps the less intrepid travelers away from Yosemite. Lake Tahoe has more things to do - gambling, dining and skiing (Squaw Valley is open w/ a 31" base) - in rainy/snowy weather. Otherwise, If you have a chance to come another time, go when the weather will be more predictable. Go where you won't feel bad that you spent good money just to get rained on. Go where there is something else to look at besides nature.

As far as getting caught out in the middle of nowhere in the rain or snow while hiking... well... Bring your rain gear, warm clothes, and wear good shoes. Don't plan long hikes. Storms, except for the typical Sierra thundershower, don't occur suddenly. Weather forecasts are usually accurate for the next day. A cold, windy, forebodingly cloudy, drizzly, or full-on rainy or snowy morning will cause you to cancel your hike.

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
posts: 15,233
reviews: 3
10. Re: Lake Tahoe or Yosemite in 2 weeks?

We've stayed at the Tenaya, a wonderful hotel with lots of ammenities, but at least an hour drive into the valley. Ok to make that drive for a couple days, but I would get tired of it for longer than that going back and forth down the mountain.

I've dreamed of staying at the Ahwahnee, right in the valley, that would be my first choice if in your budget.

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